Allen Ginsberg and William Burroughs class, July, 1984.
Allen Ginsberg class with William Burroughs. Ginsberg begins by reading from Burroughs's work, including his book Nova Express. Burroughs arrives and discusses writing techniques, including the idea that "Life is a cut up." He also talks about why he became a writer, Laurie Anderson, rolling drunks, biological warfare, weapons and retreats. The class learns some exercises for observing details while walking down the street.
Run time 1:15:07Label / Recorded by Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics
April 26, 2007
dude is loaded
January 11, 2005
Lively Q & A
Allen is in a energetically curious mood- trying to really get down to particulars about method. His questions bring out the best in Burroughs.
Burroughs is forthcoming with many details about his working method.
0-10: Detail and minute particulars as the life of prose in Nova Express, Payback- Shakespeare cut-up
10: WS Burroughs on detail, Allen pushes him for specifics, "how do you remember the first thing you notice?"
16: "walk around the block, come back and put down on paper what you have seen and heard with particular attention to what you were thinking when you saw a certain object... the intersection points that claim your particular reality" variation "notce things by color", "see everyone before they see you"
22:30: Do you write every day? How long each day?
24:10: Concept of discipline with regards to writing? "Make yourself available..."
26:45: Life is a cut-up
33:45: Jack always said the first thing is always the best and I said "jack that's bullshit"
36: What paintings does WSB dig?
38: Selling out; Leary anecdote
40:30: Laurie Anderson
48:10: What are you reaching for in noticing details?
50: when did you begin your observation exercises?
(rolling drunks, similarities btwn writing and spying)
56:45: What did you learn in Tangiers?
58:20: If you could read or write, but not both, for the rest of your life, which would you do?
1:10: If WSB were VP
1:13:15: What is your most secret practice? "cutting out all talk in your head"